Monday, November 21, 2011

Random News Generator- United Arab Emirates

Third appearance of the UAE here; that ties them for first on the RNG leaderboard with Trinidad and Tobago. You know, for those scoring at home in your Random News Generator fantasy leagues. (At this point in the year, Senegal would be an awesome waiver wire pickup.)

Those of you who keep up on oil-related news might already know the significance of the Strait of Hormuz. For those who don't, the Strait- that little notch separating the Arabian Sea and the Persian Gulf; the northern tip of the UAE points to it- is the most crucial oil shipping lane in the world. Oil has to come through there if it's going to get from oil wells inland from the Gulf out to open sea. Close off the Strait, and you close off 17% of the world's oil supply, and a third of the world's seaborne oil. It handles about 15.5 million barrels a day.

The Strait of Hormuz is, for all intents and purposes, controlled by Iran; the Strait juts into their land. Considering Iran's reputation and demeanor, that fact leaves much of the rest of the world ill at ease; were someone ever to go to war with Iran, the Strait would be one of the places most at risk. The UAE, sitting across the Strait, would be severely impacted.

That's why they've recently completed- and have almost made operational- a bypass pipeline, running south of the Strait from Abu Dhabi and emerging outside of the chokepoint at the port of Fujairah, with a capacity of 2.5 million barrels a day. They hope to have it up and running by mid-December. They don't know how likely it is that anyone will actually bomb Iran or anything, but it's a better-safe-than-sorry proposition. They're also working on a refinery in Fujairah, which they hope to have running by 2016.

The pipeline will be operated, initially, by the Abu Dhabi Company for Onshore Oil Operations, which in turn is 60% owned by Abu Dhabi National Oil Company.

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